Spouse Abuse

Q. Thanks for your wonderful site! I wanted to get your opinion on divorce. I’m a bible believing Christian and my husband is a non-believer. I know that the Lord doesn’t like divorce and it’s only allowable if adultery is involved, but what about verbal and physical abuse? My husband has been verbally and physically abusing me and I ask that you keep me in your prayers. I can’t keep allowing myself to keep going through this, but he says he’s never going to grant me a divorce or let me leave. He also threatens to keep my two children. What does a Christian do in a situation like this? I’m wanting to protect my children and I but I don’t want to go against God’s word. Please keep me in your prayers thanks.

A. As you said, the Bible permits only marital unfaithfulness as legitimate grounds for divorce. That’s partly because there were then (and are now) legal remedies for spouse abuse that don’t involve divorce. Since you’re married to a non-believer you can let him go if he decides to leave you. But since He’s said that he won’t, I strongly urge you to take all legal action available to you, including taking yourself and your children to a shelter out of his reach and asking for police protection. The Lord never intended for you to become a prisoner in your own home. Making this a matter of public record might embarrass him into either leaving or straightening up. And yes, we will pray for you.

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